Fat has often been looked down on as one of the unhealthy parts of food. But fat comes in several different types, only some of which are unhealthy. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids or any of the monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats play a key role in the health of your brain and your body’s cells. Many have been found to have a positive effect on the health of a variety of organs including the brain and heart. Here are a few easy ways to get your daily dose of good fats.
Change Your Cooking Oil
The supermarket offers a wide selection of oils to cook with, and a significant number of people use butter or margarine as well. Liquid oils that come from plants are best for cooking because they have high levels of healthy fats. Good oils are olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil or safflower oil. Any oil that comes from an animal, like butter, has more of the unhealthy fats and should be avoided. When cooking at high temperatures, olive oil has been found in studies to perform best.
Add Nuts or Seeds to Your Food
Nuts or seeds can add crunch to any meal and can also be eaten on their own as a healthy snack. Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans and cashews all have high amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats. Sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds are all high in polyunsaturated fats. Nuts and seeds also add protein and fiber to your meals, which will help you to stay feeling fuller longer.
Replace Your Meat
Many studies have found that red meat puts eaters at higher risk of a variety of diseases including heart disease. Part of that risk probably comes from the large amounts of unhealthy saturated fats present in animal meats. Fish, on the other hand, is high in omega-3 fatty acids that improve both brain and heart health. Soy products like tofu are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and can be found in a wide variety of forms, textures and flavors for those cautious about adding soy.
Eat More Avocados
This green fruit is high in a variety of healthy fats and can be added to just about any meal including sandwiches, salads, smoothies, salsas and soups. They’re also high in fiber and will leave you feeling significantly more full after your meal than you would have otherwise.
Snack on Olives
Like the oil, olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. The benefit of olives over other snack foods is that they’re low in calories so you can be sure to get your daily dose of good fats without boosting your calorie count.